I don’t bake a lot of cakes but this easy chocolate one is a family favorite. I make it plain, without frosting, as a snack cake to have in the house for the grandchildren, and it makes very good cupcakes with fluffy white frosting.
- 1 cup hot water
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup solid vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- One 8-ounce package cream cheese
- 1 to 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two 8-cup muffin tins or insert paper liners into the cups. If making a snack cake, lightly butter an 8-inch-square pan (a brownie pan) and line it with wax paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the water into the cocoa slowly. When smooth, set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on medium speed, cream the sugar and shortening for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk 8 to 9 times until well blended.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with the cocoa, beating at medium speed until well mixed. Beat in the vanilla.
6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cups, filling each about two-thirds full, or pour into the square pan. Bake the cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes and the snack cake for 50 to 55 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake or the snack cake will come out clean.
7. Let the cupcakes or snack cake cool in the pan set on a wire rack.
8. Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer set on medium speed and fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, alternating with the milk, and beat until creamy. Stir in the vanilla.
9. When cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting.
Nutritional information is based on 18 servings.